Judges Susan Baxter, Marilyn Horan, John Younge and Robert Colville were praised in July by Toomey and Sen. Bob Casey as more than capable to serve on the federal district court in PA.
For the most part, blue slips are just a formality, a form for both home-state senators to show their support.
The Senate Judiciary Committee cannot begin confirmation hearings until both home-state senators have returned their “blue slips,” though Toomey maintains he is just waiting for the committee to complete their background checks on the four judges.* Casey returned his four blue slips in August.
“These nominees possess a wealth of legal experience from their work in both the public and private sectors,” Toomey said in July. “I am confident that they have the acumen, integrity and respect for the limited role of the judiciary that they need to excel as federal judges.”
Toomey has more outstanding blue slips than any Senator, Jennifer Bendery of the Huffington Post reports. Toomey was criticized by Democrats in May for taking six months longer than Sen. Casey to return his blue slip for Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo.
Restrepo was nominated by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for 3rd Circuit last November but is still waiting for his confirmation process to begin.
“As he has regularly done with other judicial nominees, Senator Toomey looks forward to each of them successfully completing the Senate Judiciary Committee’s background investigation so he can submit the corresponding blue slips immediately thereafter to ensure that the confirmation process continues without delay,” Toomey spokeswoman E.R. Anderson told HuffPo.
*The original version of this article stated that the confirmation process can not begin until a blue slip is submitted. It has been corrected to state that hearings can’t be held until the blue slip is submitted but the process can still continue.